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Dob on us and see what happens

When Peter van Onselen revealed that the prime minister’s office was deliberately backgrounding journalists to smear Brittany Higgins’ now partner, I thought here we go again – dob on us and see what happens.

Whenever this government is threatened with negative publicity, they respond with character assassination, threats, and vindictive retribution.

Bernard Collaery, a barrister and former ACT attorney-general, is facing jail for allegedly helping his client, intelligence officer Witness K, reveal information about Australia’s bugging of Timor-Leste government offices to gain the upper hand during oil and gas negotiations in 2004. The trial is being conducted in secret.

When Adelaide-based public servant Richard Boyle revealed disturbing debt-collection practices by the ATO, he was hit with charges which could see him spend the rest of his life in jail.

A few weeks before the 2016 election, the AFP raided the parliamentary office of shadow communications minister Stephen Conroy and the home of one of his staffers looking for leaked documents detailing the massive cost blowouts and delays at NBN Co, contrary to what the government had been telling the public. A Senate committee later ruled that the raids constituted ‘improper interference’ on the functions of parliament.

Likewise, in October 2018 the AFP raided a home affairs employee’s home and the Canberra office of the department over leaks concerning Peter Dutton’s ministerial intervention in the case of two foreign au pairs. When it was revealed that Dutton’s chief of staff, Craig Maclachlan, was alerted to the fact the raids were going to take place the day before by the deputy commissioner, Neil Gaughan, it led to a complaint by the targeted public servant that there were “reasonable grounds to suspect the AFP is neither operationally independent or without political bias”.

When the Australian Human Rights Commission produced a report about the abuse of children in immigration detention and their declining physical and mental health, the government attacked Gillian Triggs mercilessly. It got very personal.

Scott Morrison also dismissed Save the Children staff, incorrectly claiming they had been “coaching” asylum seekers to self-harm. Despite commissioning a report which verified what the AHRC had said and exonerated the Save the Children staff (who consequently received a large settlement), no apology was forthcoming from Morrison and Triggs’ contract was not renewed.

The ABC’s revelation of allegations of potential war crimes by Australian special forces in Afghanistan led to raids on the national broadcaster and the AFP referring journalist Dan Oakes for prosecution – charges that the CDPP subsequently decided not to pursue.

When Emma Alberici wrote an article analysing the government’s proposed company tax cuts and questioning whether they would deliver the claimed outcomes of greater business investment and higher wages, the politicians and Murdoch media went into such a frenzy that the ABC removed the article. After Alberici engaged lawyers, a slightly changed version of the article was reposted. However, with the axing of Lateline, Ms Alberici has now largely disappeared from our screens.

The ABC has been in the firing line ever since the Coalition came to power. Whether it be intelligence officers paying people smugglers, the shocking mismanagement of water resources, or the licentious behaviour of men in parliament – the government does not want their dirty linen aired in public and have made that very clear with constant complaints, attempts at editorial influence, and most destructive of all, savage funding cuts.

The same has happened to the Australian National Auditors Office with information withheld and reports gagged under spurious grounds like commercial-in-confidence and national security, followed by significant funding cuts.

None of what has been reported has been disputed – it has all proven to be factual. Nevertheless, the message is clear.

To quote Peter Dutton, if you dob, you’re ‘dead to me’.

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  1. Kaye Lee

    I should add to the list, the treatment of Liberal women who spoke up about the bullying and intimidation they experienced during the knifing of Turnbull.

    Julia Banks was so outraged by her treatment that she left the party and moved to the crossbench.

    Lucy Gichuhi, despite having been specifically enlisted by the Liberal Party, was relegated to an unwinnable position on the Senate ticket.

    Kellie O’Dwyer did not contest the next election.

    Julie Bishop lost the leadership ballot that she should have won uncontested.

    And Linda Reynolds’ silence was bought by promotion to a leadership position that she is patently incapable of fulfilling.

  2. Vikingduk

    If you watched SBS Rise of the Nazis, I think you would have seen the playbook that various governments, usually right wing, employ to kill democracy. Slowly but surely the scum suckers that populate the government seats are for turning this democracy into a fascist, do as your told, megalomaniac pile of shit, lies, hypocrisy, delusion, etc.

    Would they dare sack Reynolds after elevating her beyond her level of competence and risk her speaking up. Will she not contest next election and receive a comfy little ambassador appointment to keep her quiet? Will what’s his name realise that the people that booed at the tennis were merely exercising their right to free speech? Will the liar from the shire ever tell the truth? Will the dutton thing find compassion? Will my homing pigs find their way home? Why shouldn’t you let the moose lick your car? Are we all dumb as dog shit? Well, that one’s easy, not all of us, not yet, never. Why did we let the lunatics take over the asylum?

  3. Josephus

    The primitive ruses of the bullies and crooks that are in power would never pass muster if children learnt the basic tricks of unscrupulous arguments at school. One such trick, used in Burma, Russia, and Australia to name but three – we are in good company – is the so called ‘ad hominem’ ruse, that is, you attack the person not the views.
    Warned and aware, citizens would then simply scoff at and dismiss such manipulative crooks as what they are, desperate liars.
    Parents, grandparents, alert your descendants.

  4. Gangstas Paradise

    shush ! very very quietly and crossing the fingers and knocking on wood and carrying the a lot of the number 7 lets not forget the ongoing alleged murder of unarmed Afghani citizens.

    Buried ….. but not forgotten, in spite of the powerful forces here in Australia.

  5. Baby Jewels

    Shared on fb by copy pasting.

  6. leefe

    “Linda Reynolds’ silence was bought by promotion to a leadership position that she is patently incapable of fulfilling.”

    And which she will lose as the misgovernment’s latest scapegoat.

  7. Geoff Andrews

    OK, there’s Brittany. Higgins, Collawry, Conroy, Boyle, Triggs, Save the Children, Oates, Alberici and a few expendable public servants.
    So what else have the Romans done for us?
    It’s the cost of business

  8. DrakeN

    Just another day in the world that I describe as “Legalised Mafiosi”

  9. Kaye Lee

    Ted Mack, in his 2013 Henry Parkes Oration:

    “Political parties as they have developed over the last century seem like two mafia families seeking control of the public purse for distribution to themselves, supporters, the special interests who fund them and for buying votes at the next election. Political parties are not mentioned in the Constitution. They are effectively unregulated private organisations but they now control government treasuries.”

  10. Wayne Steel

    We have a PM whose senior staff, advisors and ministers never bother to tell him of anything that may affect him, he used the Ted Cruz excuse (I promised my kids a holiday) to skip the country during a major disaster. He is never responsible for anything, and he managed to be 2nd in line, nationwide, for the coved vax. Why do we pay him, a stuffed Guy Fawkes would be more use.

  11. Kaye Lee

    But he has an official photographer to follow him around and release official candid shots of ProMo wearing a suit jacket with boardies and thongs, or building a chicken coop which Rossleigh interestingly pointed out showed Promo with nails in his mouth while holding a drill. And are you allowed to build chicken coops on heritage property? Damn….see how that shit works? Next I’ll be asking for his strawberry curry recipe…though maybe Jen’s pavlova would give more clarity.

    What will he do if he can’t get photographed drinking beer at the football?

  12. GraemeF

    Don’t forget Nick Ross who had his articles suppressed regarding the NBN and was hounded out of his job at the ABC or Scott McIntyre who lost his job at SBS for daring to tell the truth about our Anzac’s behaviour when we were supposed to worship them.

  13. David Evans

    The day you are treated as a criminal by police and “government” for blowing the whistle on criminal activity within the police and/or the “government” is the day you realise you are being policed and “governed” by criminals.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Can anybody else remember that photo in Parliament where Julia Banks was being shunned by her colleagues after calling out her party’s sexist attitude?

    They eat their own.

  15. Kaye Lee


    I remember it well.

    She pointed the finger at the “scourge of cultural and gender bias, bullying and intimidation” saying: “Women have suffered in silence for too long.”

    See the pic : “Julia Banks stands to deliver her resignation speech, prompting government MPs to leave the chamber”

  16. Michael Taylor

    God I felt sorry for her. And I respected her for what she did.

  17. RomeoCharlie29

    So, the question is: has van Onselen yet felt the lash of the PM’s office for his revelations? Pretty damning I thought though just par for the course and Standing Operational Practice for this Government. It may be wishful thinking but I am getting the vaguest of impressions that the gold polish might finally be coming off the turd that is Scummo. I mean even Murdoch must be starting to wonder how many fuck-ups by the Libs he can excuse. But, even with Scummo’s obvious inadequacy for the role, who else is there? I mean Friedanegg is just sad, Yorick is pathetic and not even a proto dictator like Muckraker could support the fascist, proto dictator Mr Potatohead. Birmingham, Tudge, Porter? All have competence issues or simple dead weight in their saddle bags. And it gets worse from there. Look at Labor’s front bench and, despite their difficulty in getting cut-through in most media, their skills and promise are obvious.
    As for Julia Banks, I really hoped she could win but she picked a hard challenge.

  18. Andrew J. Smith

    Good article, packed a lot in with two most representative examples being what lies behind Alberici’s and Dutton’s utterances.

    Alberici was punished for quite rightly calling out the nebulous ‘trickle down effect’ and the ‘Laffer curve’; representing radical right libertarian economics to justify tax cuts for wealthy and corporate entities (with dubious track records on tax compliance), like (Koch linked) Oz Tax Payers’ Alliance appearing on C9 recently (claiming senior public servants are paid too much, hence, the public sector needs to be crashed….).

    Dutton’s comment ‘dead to me’ resonates with the far right white nationalism and 1930-40s Germany after centuries of Jews being ‘othered’, stereotyped and denigrated by Christian churches as a problem needing a ‘solution’; the Nazis did not need to do much for their solution to be implemented, as Jews and their culture had become ‘dead’ to German society (Goldhagen in ‘Hitler’s Willing Executioners’).

    The prism of radical right libertarian economic ideology joined at the hip with eugenics seems now to be derigeur for the ‘top people’ acting like small minded losers?

  19. New England Cocky

    Now why would a confirmed political sceptic consider ALL these informed comments suggested that the Liarbral Nazional$ COALition misgovernment is an evolving fascist state controlled by executives from foreign owned multinational corporations, especially from the media and mining sectors?

    Once the lucky country now …..

  20. RosemaryJ36

    I so hope we will get up the courage to get out on the streets – in really great numbers – and shout “ENOUGH!”

  21. Michael Taylor

    On the streets, and from the rooftops, Rosemary.

    Good to see you, by the way. 😀

  22. Phil Pryor

    Don’t forget, some advice for the ambitious, heartless, low skulled and negative active.., if you want to be a steady crook, employed in profitable exploitation and serially covered if prudent enough, join the political group of right wing gouging and grasping, with no ethics, morals, decency, restraint.., and /or join the police, military, associated government departments, corporate plotting and scheming areas, media maggoting, money manipulation, laundering, siphoning, application, lobby groups, bribery and corruption organised camouflage, etc. Get in something good, inside, networked, protected, corporate, contrived, popular with mafioso types, career enhancing. There’s power, control, wealth, pussy, position, preference, posing, pride and punishment options for opponents, easily had for the successful. A friend told me, long ago, that you could win it, steal it, marry it, inherit it or work, so work only for your greedy inner self and stuff the world. Ask half of the Poxed Moron’s cabinet, e.g, Dutton, or former leeches like Pyne. It works.

  23. wam

    pollies are public rule makers that only apply to non-pollies.
    pollies are adept at changing privileges to rights
    pollies have a secret place for retreating
    pollies have a capacity for rationalising behaviour from ‘nothing wrong’ to acceptable.
    pollies, except gillard, know god gave them power over women and parliament gave exceptional power over the public.
    When how god affects pollies can be questioned(a la the rugby bloke) the air may become clear.
    In the meantime, let us just watch as the male god excruciatingly slowly develops a female side.
    The 1000 jabs may not hide a fourth woman and Nov 4 corners may arise??
    hillsingers believe women must defer to men??? I think the xstian scummo is in conflict with the PM scummo?

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